Removing barriers is key to engagement

[20 August] In our increasingly digital world, we’ve got used to getting what we need easily, and fast. From next day delivery to superfast broadband connections bringing the internet to our fingertips, we’ve grown to expect a seamless and easy customer experience.

QR and NFC technology emerged several years ago, and in theory should have been the answer to many prayers; a simple tap and go solution to direct customers to a website or an app download, however they never really took off. Poor mobile connections and codes that linked to invalid URLs were common barriers. Enter 2020, the year everything was flipped upside down, and the revival of the QR code.

Simplify the path to purchase

Across the industry in late 2019 there was talk about the re-emergence of the technology and it seems to have been right. Back in the mid-2000’s when QR codes were a thing, you needed a dedicated app to read the code, however more recent smartphones can now scan codes directly from your camera app, so the link is just a swipe away, simplifying the path to purchase, browse or download for customers. In reality, while the codes fell away from mainstream use as an advertising tool, they were often used on flight boarding passes, concert and cinema tickets, and even snapcodes within the Snapchat app.

Enter Covid-19 and many restaurants are removing menus from their diners, assigning each table a bespoke QR code for people to scan, taking them directly to an online ordering system. Removing the human interaction removes some of the risk of transmission of disease, and it also streamlines the ordering process. No more flagging down staff to order another pint, just pop online, order and pay. With every order, audiences are becoming more and more confident in using the technology.

NFC technology was also hailed as a ‘big thing’ that flopped, for similar reasons to QR codes, with mobile support unavailable for Apple devices. In recent years that has changed, and many of us have become confident in using NFC without even realising – it’s the tech behind some contactless payments, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. NFC panels can be easily added to the Adshel and Adshel Live plant across NI.

Incorporate QR into OOH

As audiences become more familiar with the process of scanning a code, advertisers are missing an opportunity to simplify their customer experience in a straightforward way, gathering audience insights at the same time. In particular, 6 Sheet and Digital formats are the perfect place to display a QR code, which can be as subtle as required. Creating the codes is straightforward, and basic codes can be created for free. Dynamic elements can track audience engagements and allow code destinations to be changed without needing to reprint codes. Open your camera app and hover over the code below to see how easy it is to drive website visits.

Marketers and advertisers have an opportunity to incorporate the codes into campaigns, delivering another layer of accountability and audience tracking. Driving traffic to websites, social media sites or app downloads are just the start of what is capable for these little black boxes.